I have grown up in a world where the end goal of most, if not every romantic relationship is marriage. It’s a great institution and one that I believe in. There are always these couples that are together for a very long time. It can be due to family, societal pressures, or it may just be that they cannot fathom not being together. These are all feel-good stories that make one all warm inside. On the flip side, if a marriage culminating from such a relationship doesn’t work out, it’s a hard reality check. Maybe marriage isn’t just about settling down with your self-appointed soul mate. If it can break the dream couple who everyone envied, one might ask what chance do they have for having a happily ever after? Is there even a happily ever after? Are we even wired to be together with the same person for the rest of our lives?
When a relationship implodes, it takes a toll on not just the couple, but also their immediate circle. I won’t lie and say that I didn’t question my relationship and become anxious. But the thing that kept me sane is my north star. I have an image of how I want my life and relationship to be. This image guides me through the highs and lows. I know as long as I communicate, listen, and adapt, I’ll reach there sooner than later.
I have realized that not every cloud has a silver lining, some people only look great on paper while some who do not appear to have anything in common make for great couples. We take comfort in the fact that we have someone special with us. But is that person the right one and if he/she is, have we told them what they mean to us? Once we accept the fact that relationships aren’t permanent and start giving our best to the one we are in, even if it doesn’t work out, there won’t be the guilt that we could have tried harder. We feel that if we have known a person for a long time we understand how they think and function. But what we do not realize is that people keep on evolving and changing. After a couple of years, if there isn’t any proper communication, couples turn into strangers. We wake up one morning just with a slight recollection of the person we fell in love with. Talk, listen, and engage. Find happiness in little things and not wait for the big moment. It can be a walk around the block, having Chinese takeaway, or just sitting silently across one another.
If two people separate, we say that their marriage failed. But maybe it just ran its course. The stigma that comes with the term failure can do a number on anyone’s psyche. Maybe that is why there are so many unhappy marriages, because who wants to be stamped a failure. In closing, I’d like to say that we all change with time if we are different from what we were a few years ago, it’s not our fault. We should try to keep those who are special to us as involved in our life as possible, those who don’t make the effort get left behind. If a childhood romance can’t handle a year of marriage, then maybe there was nothing but comfort and convenience on the wheels of that relationship.
One needs to take a long hard look at what they want out of a relationship before saying yes. If it works out then it’s the best feeling in the world if it doesn’t then it is better to rip the bandage in one go than dragging it along for years.
– Wandering Millennial Mind